Thursday, November 4, 2010

No News Is Good News?

Time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future.....Those lyrics sure seem to apply to my days and nights. For those of you who have e-mailed encouragement with my progress after total knee replacement, I'm back to walking 2 miles daily. And it feels so good to be able to get out on these crisp fall mornings, and greet the sunshine.

After my knee began to recover, I started researching the causes of joint inflammation on the internet in August for conservative measures to take to prevent further damage to my body. I found that some of my favorite foods are known contributors to the inflammatory process: nightshade vegetable family (tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant), red meat, dairy, sugar and caffeine. Well, guess what I was eating morning, noon and night! Tomatoes from my garden on eggs for breakfast, tomato/mozzarella/basil salad for lunch, and of course, sliced tomatoes for supper. And then there were the daily trips to Sonic for Happy Hour Cherry Cokes, and a hamburger.
So, I've changed my diet, added supplements of ginger and turmeric, green tea extract, fish and flax seed oil, and added black cherry juice and walnuts to my breakfast routine. I've stopped all intake of tomatoes and potatoes, and drastically reduced my consumption of red meat and dairy products, although I've not entirely cut them out. We've also added at least 2 dinners per week of wild-caught Pacific salmon or other oily fish, and regular cooked oatmeal for breakfast, and are eating a lot more vegetables and fruit.

I'm happy to report that my pain is greatly reduced after a couple of months of maintaining these changes, and I've managed to shed about 8 pounds so far. These dietary changes are amazingly difficult to keep while traveling, though. I didn't realize how few opportunities there are out there for appropriate exercise (i.e., swimming) and dietary choices at commercial chain restaurants are so limited. Tomatoes and potatoes are really hard to avoid, especially when you love to eat them as much as I do. I broke my rule once last month, and went out for Mexican with friends. I really indulged in tomato salsa and cheese. I paid the price in the form of pain over the course of the next few days. I learned my lesson. Tomatoes seem to be one of my main irritants. (Solanine, a substance in potatoes and tomatoes, is a big contributor to the inflammatory process, and seem to trigger my flare-ups big time!)

One of my facebook quilting friends gave me a link to the website of Dr. Andrew Weil, and his common sense approach to a plant-based diet (Mediterranean diet) has really helped. I got one of his cook books, and we've enjoyed trying new recipes from it, but some of the important ingredients are difficult to find in our area. After all, Dodge City's entire economy is based on Beef.

Do any of you out there suffer from similar ailments? Maybe you have other things that work for you that you would be willing to share with me.  I'm all ears!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the diet information. I eat a lot of those food items on a regular basis and I had no idea that they may have been contributing to the inflammation in my knee. The caffeine will be very hard to cut out!! I'll be trying your suggestions and see what happens!

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  2. A great source of information (some of which pharmaceutical companies would prefer people not be aware of) is the Life Extension Foundation. On the web at www.lef.org
    Sometimes a steep learning curve, but this knowledge source has really improved my life!

    ReplyDelete